WhatsApp, the dream come true for enterprises looking to engage customers over secure and private chat.
We have 2009, the magical year in which the world was gifted WhatsApp. The messaging app grew its fan base to around 1.5 billion active users (within 10 years, what?!). Its popularity has put businesses and people on the platform to connect with one another ever since. In order to keep the right things in the right place, Whatsapp launched WhatsApp Business, built to simplify and encourage conversation between businesses and their clientele. Keeping things interesting, WhatsApp just introduced the Hulked-Out Version of WhatsApp Business with an API. The API, designed to help even the largest businesses manage their conversations, can handle existing as well as potential customers.
Chat Bubble Bonanza!
WhatsApp’s new Business API allows small and large companies to manage their community and give customers the user experience they’ve been waiting for. No more missed appointments, wrong deliveries, or misplaced tickets, as the API can be used to send custom notifications – and, as a bonus to the client, the content is limited to be relevant and non-promotional! No spam, annoying ads (remember the times with the blue pill ads?), just useful info in the app you’re using anyway! As for the business, they pay a fixed rate for confirmed delivery of these messages. Talking win-win situations, amirite?
Another interesting feature is that businesses can use the API to respond to clients who’ve asked them certain questions, or have requested to be sent more information. If your company is able to reply to these within 24 hours, it is free; however you will be charged a (up till now undetermined) fee if you would fail to reply within that time frame. Should we invest in more community managers, or just really great chatbot builders?
Facebook Ads Click to Open WhatsApp
After the Click to Messenger Ads, Facebook is now generating ads that will open WhatsApp. In one simple click, people will learn more about your business, and you will be able to engage with them, and build a meaningful relationship. After all, that’s what it’s all about, isn’t it? A prefilled WhatsApp chat will appear, and the customer will be allowed to message your business quickly and easily. Ads Manager will be updated to include the analytics of the Click to WhatsApp Ads and will be able to see how many conversations have been started, and how many messages in total people have sent to your business. Not only will this feature be available on your ads, you will also be able to implement it in your website or Facebook page.
Click to WhatsApp Ads are said to be available end of this month in most countries, however, the European Union is currently not on that list. Is this WhatsApp finally stepping up, and giving businesses the platform they need – after all, WhatsApp ìs currently the biggest messaging platform Facebook owns, trumping even Messenger – and providing customers with the user experience they deserve, or is it just a (nevertheless valuable) attempt to make up for their immense loss in company value they had to deal with last week?
Instagram to Follow Suit?
With WhatsApp and Messenger investing in B2C messages, is Instagram destined to follow in their footsteps? Instagram is proving itself more and more to be one of the most important messaging platforms for young people, and it is realising it, too. After having implemented the green dot to show if one of your friends is online, the ‘gram is starting to act more like a big-time messaging platform. Add to that that it’s still an all-time favourite to share photos and videos – young people everywhere saying ‘Facebook Who?’ – it’s bound to capitalise on its messaging value sooner rather than later.
The Future of Communication
WhatsApp however is not the only one stepping up their game. Many businesses have come to realise this is the future of B2C communication, and are trying to use automated messaging and AI to ameliorate their customer conversations. Google has RCS messaging, Apple has got their Business Chat, Salesforce is working their Einstein bots, and now WhatsApp has launched their API. Will Instagram be next?